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CISM Board of Directors 2023/1 - Luzern (SUI)



LUZERN (SUI) - The first meeting of the CISM Board of Directors 2023 was successfully held from 7 to 8 March 2023 at the Armed Forces Education Centre.

The Opening Ceremony of the event took place on March 7 in the presence of Colonel Dirk Schwede, CISM President, Navy Captain Roberto Recchia, CISM Secretary General, Members of the CISM Board of Directors, Brigadier General Niels Blatter, Commander of the Engineer / Rescue / NBC Training Unit of the Swiss Armed Forces, Colonel Christian Hess, Chief of the Swiss Delegation to CISM and Members of the staff of the CISM General Secretariat.



In his welcoming speech, the CISM President gave a short summary of the Swiss history and involvement in CISM and wished the Board Members the best possible decisions for the future of CISM during the two-day meeting.

Brigadier General Niels Blatter then spoke: "For Switzerland, its membership in the International Military Sports Council is of great importance. We have many common goals. We share the same vision to promote sports in the Armed Forces, but also to enhance solidarity amongst nations all over the world. The physical fitness of soldiers is a fundamental basis for the readiness of the Armed Forces. CISM Athletes are serving as great role-models, not only through their impressing sporting performances, but also through living the CISM slogan "Friendship through sport".



The first meeting of the CISM Board of Directors then started with the Communication of Colonel Dirk Schwede, CISM President, and the Report of Navy Captain Roberto Recchia, CISM Secretary General, who presented to the members of the BoD Members all the information about the work carried out by the CISM Secretariat General during the last months.

The floor was also given to the Vice-Presidents of the four CISM continents (Africa, Americas, Asia, and Europe) for a detailed report on the activities of their respective continents.

Colonel Sven Serré, CISM Treasurer General, then presented the financial report of our organization as well as various decision files related to the 2023 and 2024 budgets.

The afternoon continued with the reports of the different CISM Commissions presented by their respective Presidents (Sports Commission, Regulations Commission, Finance and Solidarity Commission, Women in CISM Working Group and Strategic Commission). At the end of these presentations, the Board of Directors took the decision to change the status of the Women in CISM Working Group into a Commission to be chaired by Lieutenant Rebeca Garcia Dominguez.



The last two topics of the day were Strategy and General Affairs and Sports. Colonel Clayton Pontes, Director of the CISM Strategy and General Affairs Department, presented his report on the CISM Strategic Plan as well as various Dossiers of Decision (Code of Ethics, changes in the statutes and reviews of the CISM Regulations). Lieutenant-Colonel Jan van den Dool, CISM Sports Director, closed this first session with the report of the Sports Department which included, among others, a presentation of the President of the Sports Commission Lieutenant-Colonel Jure Velepec and of the PCSC Representative Colonel Nilton Rolim, several decision files and topics such as the CISM Sports Calendar, Anti-Doping, the CISM Academy, Sports & Peace activities as well as Solidarity & Development.

The second session started on March 8 with the report of the Director of the Games, Colonel Joseph Bakari, who gave the BoD Members an overview of the situation regarding the different upcoming CISM events (Winter Games 2025, Summer Games 2027, Cadet Games 2024, Heroes Games 2026 and Football Cup 2025).

Mr. David Vandenplas, Media and Communication Director, then presented the different ongoing and upcoming projects of his department and was followed by the activity report of Mr. Maxime Sempo, CISM Partnership and Development Department Director.


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The Miscellaneous part was finally addressed with various topics such as the reactivation of the CISM Member Nations, decision files proposed by the BoD Members and a tribute to General Aboubacar Biro Condé, Africa BoD Member and President of the Finances and Solidarity Commission, who retired from CISM after more than 20 years within the international military sports environment. Thank you General for your contribution to the development of CISM !

Colonel Dirk Schwede finally took the floor to conclude this first meeting of the BoD 2023 and to thank all the people involved in these two days of fruitful meetings: "During these two days of meetings, we had very interesting discussions for the future of CISM and I am convinced that we took the best decisions possible. Thank you for your work and your involvement which are necessary for the good health of CISM!"



The day continued with the Closing Ceremony in the presence of all the authorities and a distinguished guest, Major General Germaine Seewer, Commander of the Swiss Armed Forces College.

"Our discussions and debates were again a very important step for the future development of CISM. This gives us the possibility to connect our resources to our clear future planning. Therefore, CISM has not only the willingness, it has also the power of endurance to face the upcoming challenges in the future and I am sure that CISM will continue to be one of the strongest pillar in the field of Sports. I invite all of you to be a part on our way ahead", declared the CISM President during his Closing Speech.

He also added: "The next big step for CISM is the General Assembly at the end of next month. This is our next opportunity for the development for CISM. Let us all work together towards a peaceful future and live within our organization and our motto "Friendship through Sport".

The CISM President also awarded the CISM order of Merit to Colonel Christian Hess, Chief of the Swiss Delegation to CISM (Grand Officer), and Colonel Claude Portmann, Delegate of the Swiss Delegation to CISM (Officer), for their support towards the organization of this event and their contribution to the development of CISM and world of military sports.



The CISM Flag was then officially handed over by the Swiss Delegation to Navy Captain Spyridon Andriopoulos, Acting Vice-President Europe while the Closing Ceremony ended with the words of Major General Germaine Seewer: "In March 2025, Lucerne will act as the Host City of the fifth CISM Military World Winter Games. We are all looking forward to this unique event in Switzerland. At world-famous winter sports destinations, military athletes will be given the unique opportunity to achieve their very best sporting performances at the finest facilities - at an event designed to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, and at which the friendships between the CISM member states are celebrated!"



The journey in Switzerland came to an end with the Gift Exchange and the final Gala Dinner.

Thank you, Switzerland, and see you in three weeks for the 55th WMC Skiing in Boden!


(Source: CISM Media & Communication Department)